Womens Health

HIV And AIDS - Information For Teens

Most teens don't realize how vulnerable they are to HIV infections and STDs. The media and society has allowed HIV to be surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. The frightening reality is that with the increasing number of sexually active teens in the world, the percentage being infected by HIV is rising daily.

HIV is a huge problem for teens. In 2007 there were 2.5million people under the age of 15 living with HIV. Most teens think it won't affect them. They believe it's a disease that only affects gay people or drug users. These stereotypes have been proven wrong and teens need to be informed about the reality of HIV and AIDS.

Does HIV Only Affect The Gay Population?

Gay males and drug users are seen as the face of HIV but the painful reality is that HIV has no boundaries. Anyone who does not take proper precautions is at risk. Many teens that become infected are heterosexual. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that more females than males aged 13-19 tested positive for HIV.

Regardless of your sexual orientation, having vaginal, oral or anal sex can put you at risk for HIV infection.

Is Oral Sex A Safer Alternative?

Many teens think that oral sex is a safer sex alternative. It is perceived as a safe way to engage in sexual activity, free from the risks of pregnancy and disease. The incidence of oral sex amongst teens at high school has risen dramatically. 

Oral sex is not as safe as people think. Studies have shown that there are high levels of HIV in semen and vaginal secretions. HIV can enter the blood stream through the mucous membranes of the mouth. This fact not only highlights the risks of HIV infection but also the risks of catching other STDs.

Can Parents Help?

Parents can play a crucial role in influencing the behavior of their children. They need to be willing to talk to their children about safe sex practices and the risks of HIV. Teens need to understand that anyone can get infected by having unprotected sex, even if it's just one time.

Teens need to be aware that using a condom, if they have sex, will greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection. They also shouldn't share needles for any activities including drug use, tattooing and body piercing.

Alcohol and drugs can affect a teen's ability to make decisions and this can lead to taking unnecessary risks. Parents need to communicate about these issues with their teens. Through an open discussion of the facts, they can help their children to make informed choices despite the influence of peer pressure.

Teen use of alcohol and drugs can affect their ability to make the right decisions about safe sex. Talk to your teenager today about making the right choices.

Table of Contents
2. HIV/AIDS: Overview
3. Relationships And HIV
4. Teens And HIV
5. HIV Myths And Facts
6. HIV Medications
7. HIV/AIDS Differences
8. HIV Drug Cocktail
9. Ways To Get HIV
10. Condoms To Prevent HIV
11. Prevent HIV
12. To Test Or Not
13. The HIV Test
14. Appearances Tell Nothing
15. Women And HIV
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